How Do I Execute A Will Properly?
Posted on 8th April 2020
Often an uneasy subject to discuss, and certainly not one for talking about at the dinner table: Your Will is, ideally, a comprehensive and easy to follow set of instructions about how you wish your Estate to be divided after you depart this world. You appoint someone to be your Executor and they make sure that your loved ones and intended recipients, such as Charities or other worthy causes, are provided for as you wanted.
Whilst not a common occurrence, it is by far from unheard of for an Executor to predecease the Testator of a Will. This is the real world; things happen and you need to make sure, not only that your Last Will and Testament properly reflects your true wishes, but that your wishes can be carried out, when you do pass.
Rules on dealing with a Will if the Executor dies
The route to follow very much depends on when the Executor died. If your named Executor dies before you, then the simplest and surest way to deal with the issue is for you to make a minor amendment to your Will to name another Executor. MG Legal, your Wills Solicitor Garstang, will be happy to assist with this to ensure that you have the peace of mind knowing you have an Executor to look after matters.
Executor dies after you, but before the Will has been fully Executed
If the Executor dies before Probate has been granted, their place can be taken by a Residuary Beneficiary, who would be able to make an Application for a Grant of Probate, just as the Executor would have done.
If the Executor dies after the Probate Grant, their duties will pass to the Executor of their Will, if they have one in a process known as the Chain of Representation. MG Legal, your Wills Solicitor Garstang recommends that you ask this question of your intended Executor prior to naming them, ensuring that you are happy for their chosen Executor to also deal with your Will if this situation arises.
If the Executor dies without a Will, no Chain of Representation is formed and so, the Rules of Intestacy will apply. This can, as the above demonstrates, become a very complex process and so it is beneficial to have all areas covered well in advance.
How to avoid this problem
There is always a solution to the problem. MG Legal, your Wills Solicitor Garstang, recommend that you name at least two Executors. Ensure that those whom you choose are likely to get on as they will be required to work together to deal with your Estate. This eventuality also minimises the chances that you will be left without an Executor should one of your named Executors die in the meantime. We also recommend that you compile a Letter of Wishes to explain to your Executors and Beneficiaries how and why you have reached your decision, this can prevent any contentious matters at a later date and provide guidance to someone who does not, perhaps, know you as well as your first-choice Executor.
Seek advice from a reputable Wills and Probate Solicitor
MG Legal, your Wills Solicitor Garstang has a dedicated Wills and Probate Department who will be able to provide comprehensive advice on your individual circumstances and intentions. We offer fixed fees for Wills and we are also, if you wish, able to deal with your Probate either as Executor or Advisors should you believe this will assist.
Contact MG Legal by phone, email or web-contact form to discuss how we can help you. During the Coronavirus lockdown period, we are also offering a variety of remote services and means of safely exchanging documents with you to conclude your Will as quickly as possible.
Get in touch with MG Legal and one of our specialist Wills and Probate Team will get the ball rolling straight away.
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